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Birmingham Mail partners with local bloggers

16th August 2010 Print

The Birmingham Mail has launched a project which aims to bring the daily title closer to the growing hyperlocal sector in the city.

Birmingham Mail Communities - - involves the creation of 34 hyperlocal sections hosted on the fast-growing Birmingham Mail website, providing readers with multimedia news and information from their local area.

In a first for the regional press, the Mail is also seeking to work with existing hyperlocal websites in the city.  More than 25 have already agreed to join the initiative - these include Digbeth is Good, The Lichfield Blog and Bournville Village.

By signing up, people running hyperlocal sites in and around the city agree for their content to be used by the Mail, in print and online, correctly credited and with links back to their site.

In return, RSS feeds from the hyperlocal sites will appear prominently within the Mail Communities section, and the Mail will make relevant pictures available for those sites taking part.

Participating sites will also have a say in how a proportion of the Birmingham Mail Charitable Trust's donations are spent, and be able to set the agenda for four-times-a-year communities workshops.

Details of the project were formed after consulting a variety of authorities on hyperlocal in the city, including Talk About Local founder William Perrin and respected journalism lecturer Paul Bradshaw.

David Brookes, editor of the Birmingham Mail, said: "This is a truly innovative hyperlocal partnership and the response we have had so far has been fantastic. Many hyperlocal sites want to promote their area of Birmingham and we're confident we can help them with that, and at the same time develop a relationship which is beneficial to both sides, and ultimately, and most importantly the residents of Birmingham."

Will Perrin, Talk About Local founder, said: "The future for local news and information is one where people work together, so I welcome Trinity Mirror's initiative in trying to work with local sites.

"Talk About Local has helped Trinity Mirror reach out to some local sites and develop a package that recognises many sites generate great stories but are volunteer run and motivated by civic good, rather than financial return. Initially the relationship between newspapers and hyperlocal sites didn't get off to a good start - with a lot of sharp elbows and misunderstanding - so let's hope that Birmingham can show the way for others to follow."